Jake Little's Five RBI Carries @UofMBaseball Past UAPB 7-5
April 9, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Jake Little was 4-for-4 with five RBI to help Memphis (19-13) edge Arkansas-Pine Bluff (10-20) 7-5 on Tuesday at FedExPark. Reliever Jonathan Van Eaton closed out the game for his 14th career save, tying Matt Yokley for the program record.
After Memphis starter Michael Wills stranded runners at second and third to end the first and second innings, respectively, the Tiger offense gave him a lead to work with going to the third inning. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for Jake Little and the freshman outfielder delivered the Tigers first hit of the game to drive in two runs. With the two-out double, Little snapped a nine-game streak without an RBI and he picked up his second and third two-out RBI of his young career.
The Tigers added four runs in the fourth to open up a 6-0 lead. A one-out error allowed Colton Simbeck to reach and he advanced to second on a wild pitch. A walk put runners on first and second and Drew Griffin drove in Simbeck with a RBI single. A double-steal put runners on second and third for Little and he added two more RBI with a single up the middle to make it 5-0. Little stole second and moved to third on the errant throw to second. Zach Willis singled through the left side to plate Little and the Tigers lead 6-0 after four innings.
UAPB attempted to answer in the top of the fifth, but Wills worked out of the jam to keep the Lions out of the score column. After a line out, Willis issued a walk and Patrick Phillips followed with a single up the middle. Cody De Mera singled to load the bases, but a grounder back to the mound allowed Wills to get the lead runner out at the plate. With the bases full and two outs, Wills induced a grounder to first and left the bases full.
The Tigers went to the bullpen and the Golden Lions were able to get two runs, both unearned, off of Jacob Moody. A leadoff error followed by a botched catch at second on a double play allowed two men to reach to start the sixth. A sacrifice bunt and a walk loaded the bases with one out and Dwayne Hysmith brought two runs in with a single to left field. Blake Myers came out of the bullpen and a double-steal attempt was snuffed out with the trail runner being thrown out at second. A groundout to third ended the frame with Memphis leading 6-2.
UAPB continued to claw back, cutting the lead to 6-4 in the seventh. A leadoff error opened the scoring chance for the Golden Lions. After the error, UAPB moved the runner to second with a sacrifice bunt. With two outs in the inning, Isias Alcantar belted a two-run home run over the leftfield fence to cut the lead in half. A hit batter and single put the tying run on base, but a call to the bullpen and Jonathan Van Eaton got the Tigers out of the jam with a foul out down the right field line.
A two-out double by UAPB cut the lead down to one in the eighth inning, but Van Eaton stranded the potential tying run at second to end the top half of the eighth. A leadoff walk proved costly as Hysmith scored on the two-out RBI double by Tyler Oertle. Van Eaton recorded his second strikeout of the inning to strand Oertle at second.
Little drove in his fifth run of the game in the bottom of the eighth with a single to left field that allowed Griffin to come home and give the Tigers a 7-5 lead.
After a leadoff single up the middle to begin the ninth, Van Eaton struck out the next two batters before Warren Stehn reached base on a muffed throw to put two on with two out. On the following at bat, the Tigers earned the win as Stehn was tagged out at second by Gross.
Memphis and UAPB square off again on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.